Thursday, May 27, 2010

Help Desk in the Hills

Have just arrived in hilly Spalding after traversing 50 kilometres of somewhat unkind terrain and found a nice little shelter with some lighting, cooktop and power points. It's like they knew I was coming and set it up just for me. Am especially grateful considering it's been raining all day and I was soaked.

So figured I might hang here, charge all my stuff, cook up some food and dry all my clothes out. And while that was happening I figured I better make myself useful as well. So have decided to post the answers to many of the questions I get asked. This is not to stop people asking me them, as I enjoy answering them. Any human contact is always gratefully accepted! This is more for the people who don't want to ask, but kind of want to know.

How long have you been going now? As of today- 2 months and 23 days
How many shoes have you gone through? Still on my first pair. Good choice on the hiking shoes.
How many kilometres do you do in a day? Usually 35-50. But it varies. For instance I did 54k's yesterday but will end up only doing 25 today. It can't be planned. And towns, especially their eateries, slow us down quite a bit
When are you finishing? Although I've got some ideas, I still can't give a proper date. I have to be back in Brisbane by the 14th July for university, so some time before then!
Do you realise you're walking on the wrong side of the road? (as asked by a lady in the middle of the Nullarbor. She must've thought we parachuted down as there is only one road across the Nullarbor) Yes, we do realise we're walking on the wrong side of the road. Walking into oncoming traffic is much safer for us as we can see what is coming and then just veer off the road when needed. The trailers are much wider than bicycles so it'd be unfair and unsafe for cars to swerve around us.
You're Crazy. Well, thats more of a statement than a question
Are you on drugs?
No, not that I know of
How did you come up with the idea? Well, I'm sorry to say it wasn't my idea but James'. I just happily tagged along.
Why are you saying us and we? Isn't it only you walking? Yes it is, bad habit sorry. Spent so long with Sam and some answers get so automated that you imediately answer it the way we used to. Still miss the guy to be honest. Just dont tell him, because he doesn't read the blog.
How much has it cost? Well, I couldn't tell you exact numbers, but not a lot! The only ongoing cost is food. Accommodation is free and tyre tubes are quite cheap so it's just food. Oh, my phone bill has gone up for obvious reasons.
How heavy is your trailer? Depending on the amount of water, from 110-170 kgs. Feeling every kilo at the moment with all the hills.
Where do you sleep? I've got a swag, so wherever there's room to roll that out, I'm not fussy. Usually 15-30 metres off the road.
Would you like a cup of tea? Yes please, I'd love one. Only thing we didnt pack that I wish now we did was a kettle. And cups. I drink all my drinks out of a powerade bottle I bought on the first day of the trip, it's starting to look it's age.
Who is Kim? And are you really getting married? Kim and I don't need official marriage certificates to prove our love to each other so, no. The numerous love letters sent in my absence prove that instead, and Austalia Post must be very grateful that we have such a magical relationship. But like all kinds of magic, it is only real to a very select few. And those few are usually crazy. By the way, I just sent you your next letter and although it is nowhere near as amazing as the one you wrote me I hopefully made up for it with the size of it. You are amazing.
Have you met some interesting people? Yes, definitely. But it is usually us who are the 'interesting' ones who people meet. By interesting I mean slightly odd, and have gone just that little bit wrong.

Tried to find the most helpful photos, thereby fitting in with the theme. But unfortunately none of my photos are very helpful at all. Although they say a good tradesman never blames his tools, in my case it is totally the cameras fault.

Where I am now. Free electricity, public toilets, shelter? Jackpot. It's like a caravan park without the exorbitant site fees.

Sam will know this spoon well. Having bought four plastic spoons in Perth three quickly disappeared and then one day while eating his weetbix the fourth one broke. Instead of buying more at the next town we instead taped a fork handle onto the spoon and shared it. That spoon is still with me, although admittedly I did go and buy 10 more spoons when Carly arrived for 89 cents. You can see why we were reluctant to buy any.

One question that gets asked a lot. How many tyres do you go through? Answer- A lot! Here's me fixing four tyres at the end of one day. Recently have been getting on average a puncture a day, but haven't had one for three days now! Oh and apparently it helps to fix the tubes if you are shirtless.

Another big question: What's been the highlight of the trip so far? Well, it's hard to explain to people that you aren't really in it for the highlights- it's just the enjoyment you get of doing the daily things. But most memorable part so far would have to be arriving in Ceduna- The end of the Nullarbor. Here's a photo of me pretending to read a newspaper in Ceduna when I am actually trying to get a sneak photo of my brother.

Internet reception is not all that great sometimes in the middle of nowhere and you need to search around for the optimum spot. Hence this photo of me doing some mild tresspassing to use the computer.

The walkers life is sometimes a very bland affair. But once every hour or so we get a signpost
to look at. Two days in and Carly was already as excited as I am about them.

Ok, hopefully that has enlightened you somewhat. It is still raining here, and I have no intention to do anything else today other than go over the road and buy a pizza, then eat it in my swag.


1 comment:

  1. :) Your campsite looks downright luxurious! Sorry about the rain. i went on a walk today and when i left the house it was sunny and by the time i walked about 500 metres it was pouring rain. It didn't stop me from walking though (amazing, I know). I hope the weather gets better for you soon--otherwise you may get stupid blisters and they may hold you up a bit...